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Weston Steelhammer, other Air Force football players accept invitations to NFL camps despite rules changes

May 5, 2017 Updated: May 6, 2017 at 7:39 am
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photo - Air Force Academy football player Weston Steelhammer runs through drills during Pro Day at The Academy Tuesday, March 21, 2017. Pro Day is a chance for AFA players to be seen by NFL scouts. This year for the first time Academy graduates have the option of playing sports professionally immediately instead of first serving at least 24 months on active duty. Photo by Mark Reis, The Gazette
Air Force Academy football player Weston Steelhammer runs through drills during Pro Day at The Academy Tuesday, March 21, 2017. Pro Day is a chance for AFA players to be seen by NFL scouts. This year for the first time Academy graduates have the option of playing sports professionally immediately instead of first serving at least 24 months on active duty. Photo by Mark Reis, The Gazette 

Air Force football players will get opportunities with NFL teams despite the recent rules change that requires them to serve at least two years on active duty.

Weston Steelhammer will participate in rookie mini-camp with the Philadelphia Eagles, the All-American safety confirmed to The Gazette on Friday.

Defensive lineman Samuel Byers will participate in camp with the Atlanta Falcons and outside linebacker Jacob Onyechi is currently working out with the Green Bay Packers and next week will do the same for the New Orleans Saints.

The Gazette reported on Thursday that Ryan Watson will be in camp with the Arizona Cardinals.

A representative for Jalen Robinette’s agent says the receiver hasn’t yet determined which team he’ll be joining.

A year ago, the Department of Defense changed the rules to state that service academy graduates could pursue professional sports immediately after graduation and serve in the reserves. That was rescinded last week, as graduates are again required to serve two years before they can apply to switch to reserve status.

So, the players who will attend camps in the coming weeks will be hoping to get further invitations to more team activities and training camp, but barring another change they will be required to report to their first assignment about the time the next football season begins. Teams will have the option of signing these players and stashing them away on reserve/military status until they are ready to participate on a full-time basis.

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